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Heartbeat in Stomach

Heartbeat in Stomach: When to Worry and See A Doctor

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Many individuals detect a heartbeat in the abdominal aorta. It is a large artery that runs through the stomach. Even though this is typically not causing concern, it could indicate something much worse.

Some persons may have a pulsing sensation in the abdomen because of an abdominal aortic aneurysm. An aneurysm occurs when a damaged portion of a blood vessel swells and expands. Individuals with abdominal aortic aneurysms feel the sensation of a heartbeat in the stomach. 

Patients with this condition typically never exhibit other symptoms if the bulge does not rupture or burst. There is an urgent medical emergency. If this occurs, you should get medical assistance.

The article discusses the reasons for a pulse in the stomach. It also explores when it is necessary to consult a physician for a heartbeat in the stomach. An important query, i.e., why is my stomach beating like a heart, is answered in the post.

Continue reading to know more about why you feel the heartbeat in your stomach.

Heartbeat in Stomach

The aorta is the body’s biggest artery and is responsible for transporting blood from the heart to the rest of the body. It begins in the heart, travels through the chest, and finally enters the stomach. It is normal to occasionally feel a heartbeat in the stomach as blood is rushing through this enormous artery. However, it might sometimes indicate a more serious issue. 

If you feel a pulse in your stomach, you may have an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). It indicates that the aneurysm is in the process of forming or has already formed. A weak area in the aortic wall might lead to the formation of an AAA. 

If the aortic wall weakens, it may enlarge and form balloon-like portions. These bulges have the potential to grow very large and subsequently rupture. A ruptured AAA is a life-threatening medical emergency that can be fatal. More than half of the time, people do not reach the hospital in time, and they die there.

A AAA can form and enlarge asymptomatically. Most individuals with this condition do not know that they have it. On the other hand, if an aneurysm is growing and about to rupture, it may begin to exhibit symptoms. One of these indicators is the sensation that your stomach is pulsing or throbbing.

Why is my stomach beating like a heart?

A variety of harmless factors might cause a throbbing sensation in the stomach. Pregnancy and eating are some factors associated with a heartbeat in the stomach. 

Some pregnant women report feeling their unborn child’s heartbeat in their tummy. Although it sounds and feels like your child’s heartbeat, it is the pulse of your abdominal aorta.

When a woman is pregnant, the amount of blood that passes through her body significantly increases. It means that more blood is pushed with each heartbeat, making the pulse in the abdominal aorta more prominent.

When you eat, your body must use more effort to digest the food and utilize its energy. It causes the aorta to send more blood to the stomach and small intestine. If you feel a heartbeat in the stomach following a meal, it is likely because more blood than normal is flowing through your abdominal aorta.

Pulse in the stomach when lying down

It is normal to notice the pulse in the stomach when lying down.

You may be able to feel your stomach’s pulse if you lie down and put your knees to your chest. Stimulation of the abdominal aorta may also cause this sensation by the blood flow. 

If you have little abdominal fat, you may be able to see your stomach contracting and expanding with each heartbeat. Normally, it should go on its own.

When to See a Doctor?

Even if you do not have cardiac problems, feeling a pulse in your stomach does not automatically indicate that something is wrong.

On the other hand, if you can feel a pulse in your stomach, you may have an abdominal aortic aneurysm. People concerned about their risks should consult a physician, especially since this disease rarely manifests symptoms.

People with a higher risk of aneurysms must have their blood pressure checked frequently.

The following are the risk factors for AAA:

  • Atherosclerosis
  • Family history
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Inflamed arteries
  • Smoking

Symptoms of AAA include the following:

  • Back pain
  • Abdominal pain
  • Pulse in abdomen

If the physician suspects an individual may have an aneurysm, they will likely do an imaging test, like a CT scan, MRI, or ultrasound, to better look at the abdomen. If an aneurysm is detected, your treatment options will depend on size. If it’s not too bad, your doctor may advise you to monitor it and look for new symptoms. Aneurysms that are larger or have ruptured require surgical repair.

In normal cases, a pulse in the stomach does not require treatment. However, a person may require it if they have an abdominal aortic aneurysm.

Depending on the size and location of the aneurysm, the patient will have various treatment options. The physician will also consider the patient’s age and current state of health.

If a patient’s aneurysm is smaller than 5 cm in diameter, a physician may recommend the following course of treatment:

  • Medications used to regulate high blood pressure and reduce cholesterol levels
  • Therapies that can assist in quitting smoking
  • Follow-up CT scan or ultrasound

If an aneurysm has a diameter greater than 5 centimeters, is expanding rapidly, or is leaking, a physician may recommend surgery. The surgical options include the following:

  • EVAR: Endovascular Aortic Repair
  • OSR: Open Surgical Repair 

Maintaining heart health can help prevent AAA. It includes healthy eating, exercising regularly, and avoiding behaviors that increase your risk for heart disease, such as smoking. The physician may also prescribe medications to treat conditions such as high blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes-controlling medications to maintain heart health.

Conclusion

A variety of harmless factors could cause a heartbeat in the stomach. Pregnancy and eating are two situations that might cause a heartbeat to be detected in the stomach. Similarly, it is normal to feel a pulse in the stomach when lying down. This sensation may be caused by the stimulation of your abdominal aorta caused by blood circulation.

In most cases, the presence of a pulse in the stomach does not warrant medical attention. However, seeing a doctor is necessary if a person has an abdominal aortic aneurysm. People concerned about their risks should consult with a medical expert, especially given the rarity of this disease’s symptoms.

People with a higher risk of developing aneurysms must have their blood pressure monitored more frequently. Experts at HG Analytics are here to assist you in your journey toward health and wellness.

Learn more about abdominal aortic aneurysms and the services we offer. Consult a physician at HG Analytics to start getting healthier or to get answers to any health-related questions or concerns you may have. Book your appointment now!

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